Correspondence engineering degrees invalid: Supreme Court

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Supreme Court has ordered that the engineering degrees obtained through correspondence since 2001 are invalid. The order may put thousands of persons at risk of losing their jobs.

According to the order, the University Grants Commission (UGC) and the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) did not approve distance learning programmes in engineering studies and the approval granted by the Distance Education Council (DEC) for such courses was illegal.

The apex court also observed that commercialisation of education “seriously affects credibility of standards in education, eroding power and essence of knowledge and seriously affecting excellence and merit”.

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Clamping down on three deemed-to-be universities granting engineering degrees through distance education mode, the Supreme Court on Friday cancelled all engineering degrees awarded by these universities since 2001 and ordered a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe into the roles of the University Grants Commission (UGC) and other authorities for giving approval to these courses.

Lamenting the state of affairs in such universities, the bench also restrained “all deemed-to-be universities to carry on any courses in distance education mode from the academic session 2018-2019 onwards unless and until it is permissible to conduct such courses in distance education mode and specific permissions are granted by the concerned statutory/regulatory authorities in respect of each of those courses and unless the off-campus centres/study centres are individually inspected and found adequate by the concerned statutory authorities”.

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